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Beverly Hills, Calif. Passes Tobacco Sales Ban, Exempts Cigar Lounges

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One of the seemingly most talked about pieces of tobacco legislation this year has finally been passed, as on Tuesday the Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance that will ban the sale of tobacco products throughout the city, though contains an exemption for the city’s three cigar lounges.

Once the ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, it will be illegal to sell tobacco products within city limits, though with some notable exceptions. The city’s three current cigar lounges will be exempted from the ban completely, while hotels will be able to sell tobacco products, but only to guests and only through concierge or similar services, while not being allowed to have them on display.

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Retailers other than cigar lounges and hotels may also apply for one hardship exemption from the law, namely if they can show that the ban will cause significant hardship to the license holder in recovering his or her investment backed expectations.

The ordinance also contains a requirement that the city council must revisit the ban in three years to evaluate its effectiveness, notably on tourism, and to see if any changes need to be made.

Beverly Hills is home to approximately 30 retail tobacco stores, from convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores to the three premium cigar shops. It has a population of approximately 34,500 residents.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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